Wednesday, 2 November 2016

One in six staff have quit child abuse inquiry within last 18 months

"The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, set up to investigate allegations of abuse carried out within public institutions in England and Wales across several decades, seems to bounce from one crisis to the next. The latest development is chair Alexis Jay’s new `strategy`. She announced a changed approach in the wake of concerns that the inquiry has become unmanageably large."

"But Jay is adamant that the inquiry does not need to be scaled back. Instead, its focus will be sharpened by aligning it to four major themes of investigation:"

*Cultural the attitudes, behaviours and values within institutions that have prevented child sexual abuse from being investigated;

*Structural the legislative, governance and organisational frameworks in place, both within and between institutions;

*Financial the funding and resource arrangements for relevant institutions and services;

*Professional and political the leadership, professional and practice issues for those working or volunteering in relevant institutions.

"Full details of further changes to its existing approach are expected within a few weeks. It is likely the number of public hearings will be reduced to those dealing with areas deemed particularly necessary, with many being replaced by discussion forums and case reviews. The selection of these areas is likely to be extremely controversial among survivors, many of whom have waited years for their voices to be heard."

"Views will be taken from those affected by the inquiry’s work prior to any decisions being taken, but Jay appears to be taking a more assertive approach to influence from all parties. She recognised that `they may not always support the decisions we make` and stated bluntly that the inquiry will `scrupulously preserve its independence from all parties, applying its best judgement without succumbing to undue influence from any person, group, special interest or institution`."
"The chair of the troubled child sex abuse inquiry has written to MPs requesting they do not call her to give evidence because it would distract from her job."
"Professor Alexis Jay told the Commons home affairs committee to 'consider carefully' before calling members of her inquiry to give evidence because it was 'vital... we concentrate our efforts on continuing to progress the inquiry's important work'."
"She also admitted that one in six staff have quit the inquiry since it was set up 18 months ago as she laid bare the depth of the crisis that has hit the inquiry."
See Researching Reform`s comments on the child abuse inquiry.

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